By Stephen Hawkins
The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish is like the rest of the Texas starters — still without a victory in June.
For the ace from the Japan, the winless streak goes back a little further than that.
Brandon Moss and Josh Jaso homered and the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics beat Texas 6-2 on Tuesday night, becoming the first team to beat Darvish four times.
“They just hit off very good pitches,” Darvish said through his translator. “They’ve a very good team offensively, obviously, and they’re really hard to get out.”
Darvish (7-3), who struck out 10 to increase his majors-best total to 137, is 0-2 with a 2.66 ERA in his last six starts. That streak began with a 1-0 loss to the A’s at home May 21, five days after his last victory.
Texas starters have gone 17 games in June without a victory, breaking the team record of 16 in a row set in 1975.
“You know why ... we haven’t been scoring runs,” manager Ron Washington said. “Tonight, Yu wasn’t bad, (Jarrod) Parker was better. ... We just went through this spell not scoring runs. It’s tough for starters to hang out there.”
Texas snapped a six-game losing streak with an 8-7 victory in the series opener when the Rangers matched their run total during the skid. But their only runs this time came on a play in the third when Ian Kinsler had a vicious collision at the plate.
Kinsler’s face slammed into the mask of catcher Jaso while sliding feet-first. Kinsler needed three stitches near his left jaw and had blood on his jersey when he finally returned to the field to play second base.
He scored on a two-run single by A.J. Pierzynski, having to hold up momentarily from second to make sure the ball dropped before running and then was waved home by third-base coach Gary Pettis.
The jarring hit jerked Kinsler’s head backward, but he reached over with his foot to touch the plate, picked up his helmet and got up to go back to the dugout.
Home plate umpire Paul Nauert pointed out the cut to Kinsler, and rookie teammate Jurickson Profar cringed when he saw it.
The start of the fourth was delayed several minutes while Kinsler got stitches and team physician Dr. Keith Meister screened him for any concussion symptoms.
“We had trainers making sure to relay the message to the umpires I was trying to get back in the game,” said Kinsler, who otherwise offered mostly short, terse answers to questions in an interview that lasted less than a minute.
When Kinsler ran back onto the field, he had a bandage on his face and there were several spots of blood on the front of his jersey.
The blood-stained jersey conjured up the memory of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan when he was hit on the mouth by a Bo Jackson comebacker on Sept. 8, 1990, and kept pitching with blood dripping onto his jersey. Ryan, now the Rangers’ CEO, was sitting in the front row near the Texas dugout on Tuesday night.
Parker (6-6) limited the Rangers to two runs and three hits over seven innings while improving to 4-0 his last five starts. He is 4-1 in five career starts against the Rangers.
Moss put the A’s ahead to stay when his 13th homer led off the second. Jaso led off the next inning with his third homer, making it 3-0.
After the start of the fourth was delayed while Kinsler got treatment, Josh Donaldson singled and Seth Smith doubled for the A’s. Donaldson scored on a wild pitch and Smith came home on first baseman Lance Berkman’s error.
Moss had a leadoff triple in the eighth, and scored on Donaldson’s sacrifice fly.
Darvish’s last win was a 10-4 victory over Detroit and Justin Verlander on May 16. The six-game stretch without a victory matches Darvish’s longest such streak during his seven seasons in Japan before coming to the major leagues last year.
The only 1-2-3 inning for Darvish was the sixth, his last. He allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits. There were also two walks, a balk and that wild pitch.
“I didn’t feel that I pitched badly but I think I gave up runs too easily,” said Darvish, who is 1-4 in five career starts against Oakland.
NOTES: Oakland is 25-11 since May 11, best record in the majors during that stretch. ... Jaso has reached in 17 consecutive games, a career high. ... It was Darvish’s 14th career 10-strikeout game. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus, hitting .167 his last 25 games, was given a day off.